Book of Mormon Socialism: The Marxist Gadianton Robbers

[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

Some LDS proponents of Socialism like to compare capitalism to the infamous Gadianton Robbers in the Book of Mormon. It seems a simple line to draw between the “Profit Motive” of Capitalism and the secret combination of the Gadiantons to “get gain.” Too simple in fact. A more careful reading shows that in some ways the Gadianton Robbers seem to be more like Marxist Revolutionaries.

Chapter 3 of the book of 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon is interesting in that it is one of the few sections of the text which purports to give us a glimpse of how the Gadianton Robbers viewed themselves, rather than how they were viewed by Mormon and his Nephite protagonists. Verses 2 through 10 are the record of an epistle written to the governor of the Nephites, Lachoneus, from the leader of the Gadianton Robbers, Giddianhi:

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The Truth in Politics Act

Day 1:

Wally: I’m Wally Cronkquist and that popping noise you just heard ring round the world is the sound of 250 million corks simultaneously celebrating the passage of the Truth in Politics Act. Only two years ago the controversial “Referendum Amendment” passed, allowing individual citizens the right to create their own bills and put them on a national voting ballot. The Truth in Politics Act is the first use of this new process.

With me is Chuck Sneadman, political professor from Harvard, here to explain the new law.

Chuck: Well, Wally, it’s quite simple, really. From this point forward, all politicians are required to receive a chip implanted in their brain that gives them an electric shock every time they try to either lie or spin the truth. At last all political problems will be solved because only honest politicians will stay in power!

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A Vote for Obama is a Vote for My 401k!

I have no idea why people are so upset over the economy. I just checked my 401k and I’m up nearly 9k from my baseline. It’s been while since I’ve seen green on that thing. Quick, sell everything!

Of course it’s because I heavily weighted towards inflation hedges, including gold, natural resources, energy, and TIPS. I’ve also done well on zero coupon bonds (which are a deflation hedge) because they are government bonds.

Everything else I’ve got is either right around break even or negative. (Often hugely negative.)

Go Obama! Who says inflation (or fear of inflation anyhow) is a bad thing! I’m all in favor of inflation if it’s going to make me money.

Oh, and Obama please turn off the spigot as soon as I sell. Or you won’t get my vote next time. Can we coordinate this?

Guest Post: We Wouldn’t Be in This Mess, If… We had been True to the Constitution

M* is pleased to present a guest post from Brother Earl Taylor, Jr., President of the National Center for Constitutional Studies.

About Brother Taylor:

 Earl Taylor, Jr.  has taught The Making of America Constitutional Study course to thousands of people over the past twenty years throughout the nation.  He has developed other study courses for a wide range of participants, from high school students to state legislators.

 Educated in Washington State and Arizona, Mr. Taylor graduated from Arizona State University and received his Masters Degree in Political Science from George Wythe College and Coral Ridge Baptist University.  He has had the privilege of being privately tutored by Dr. W. Cleon Skousen over the course of many years.  He became President of the National Center for Constitutional Studies in 1995, an organization founded by Dr. Skousen in 1971 as the Freemen Institute.  The purpose of the NCCS is to teach Americans the exciting message of the Founding Fathers – where they got their great ideas and how they put them all together into a Constitution for the establishment of the first free people in modern times.  In 1998, Mr. Taylor was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from George Wythe College and Coral Ridge Baptist University.  He also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty of George Wythe College.

 Mr. Taylor served as coordinator in 1985 of the Winter Conference for State Legislators where nearly 400 elected officials from 30 states met to study The Making of America.  He has written a special study guide for Boy Scouts to help them earn their Citizenship Merit Badges.   He also helped structure courses on the U. S. Constitution for college re-certification of public school teachers.
 
 In his desire to begin to train young people in this most important area, Mr. Taylor established one of the first charter high schools in Arizona, Heritage Academy,  where he has developed a special curriculum for the teaching of hundreds of students the exciting message of the Founding Fathers.

 Mr. Taylor has also been instrumental in encouraging the celebration of Constitution Week in many cities and schools throughout the nation.

 Mr. Taylor and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of ten children and reside in Mesa, Arizona. Continue reading

Culture Change and the 1978 Priesthood Revelation: Memoir of a (Somewhat) Radical White Mormon

The following guest post is from Dr. Warner Woodworth.

Latter-day Saints around the globe recently celebrated the 1978 Church announcement regarding the Priesthood being conferred upon all worthy males. For me it’s a time to pause in gratitude, remember that momentous event, and reflect on the days of struggle many of us, Black and Caucasian, went through to achieve a better, more egalitarian society.  I sat in the tabernacle June 8, 2008 with a group of friends—African Americans, Polynesians, and Africans—as we shared recollections and listened to the program.  One conclusion was that the event wasn’t black enough.  We wanted more jumping up and singing, clapping, and a lot more energy.  Said one, “When are you white Mormons going to break out of your stiff culture and let your hearts soar?”

I didn’t have an answer. Continue reading